What song?

About once a week I get to pick up Tornado E at school without boys.  (It’s like a weight has been lifted from my shoulders/arms for fifteen minutes.)  On this day, I can talk and ask questions without interrupting myself to say “Don’t hit your brother,” “Keep your hands off your brother,” “Don’t give the baby that toy,” and “Don’t practice laughing because it makes the baby laugh because it’s too loud.”

Tornado E: Today, at school, we learned about, Heaven and Hell.

Ok.  I knew there would be a backlash to sending my child to a Christian school.  But I was sure the Heaven-vs-Hell talk didn’t happen until the child was old enough to understand sin.  I thought I had a few years.  Crap.

Tornado E: And I raised my hand and told the teacher, that Uncle M, had a really COOL Hell song.

I guess I forgot about The Friendly Giant’s music taste and the fact he has taken it upon himself to educate my boys in the finer things of live.  Alternative rock.  Which I was fine with because that’s what I blasted around the boys, though tempered with The Beatles, Jewel, some country, and of course, classic protest songs of the ’60’s.  And all this was tied into one little word.  Crap.

Me: So what did the teacher say?

Tornado E: (in a disappointed and sullen voice) Nothing.

Me: Please tell Uncle M this story when you get to your grandma’s house.

And my ever-obedient son (I know, that was tongue in cheek) ran to The Friendly Giant’s room the minute he got into the house.  After a moment, I heard the loud and pure laughter of my brother ringing through the house.

I related the story to my parents later.

Papi: Tornado E could you sing us the song?

Tornado E: Ok.  (pause)  Where do bad people go when they die?  They don’t go to heaven where the angels fly.  The go to a lake of fire and fry.

And it was perfect pitch, tune, and tone.

Thank God, he didn’t sing it at school.

The Entertainer

The boys are taking swim lessons through the city at our local park.  Each session is two weeks.  Each session has one safety day.  They teach the kids the basics of CPR and lifeguarding.  As I kid, I hated safety day because you sat in the hot sun listening to the same thing every two weeks.  In my sons’ sessions, they try to liven it up.  They let the kids play lifeguard, throwing a rescue tube to a “drowning” lifeguard and pull her to safety.

After the class, I watched as Tornado E’s teacher escorted Tornado E to life guard office as he carried the lifeguard tube.  After a few minutes, she came out, calling for him to follow her.  She took him to the pool where Tornado S’s instructor was still in the pool about to climb out.

Tornado E’s teacher: Tornado E.  Tell her what you said.

I was too far away to hear his answer.  She started to laugh and dunked her head under the water.  Hmmmm.

I had to wait until Tornado E finished his melted Otter Pop that the lifeguards gave him and to arrive at my parents’ house before getting Tornado E’s full attention.

Me: Tornado E, what did you say to the lifeguards that was so funny?

Tornado E: Oh!  I told them the lifeguard buoy looks like a weenie.

A smile graced my face.  The Friendly Giant laughed.

The Friendly Giant: Now that’s funny!

Yup,  that is.

P.S. If you are like my mother who naturally assumed my son was referring to a body part, I assure you he believes he was talking about a hot dog “because hot dog and weenie are the same thing.”  Yes, they are, my boy.

The Answer is

My mom is trying to teach Tornado E not to whine or throw a fit when he gets a “no” in response to his request.  (I, for the record, just send him in his room until he’s dealt with his issues.)  She tells him, “Tornado E, sometimes the answer is no.”

Yesterday I was dressing Tornado S, and he wanted to play with a tiny toy ninja that belonged to Tornado E.

Me: Tornado S, that’s Tornado E’s.  You’ll have to ask him.

Tornado S: Pease, Brother.  Pease may have ninja?

Tornado E: No.

Tornado S started to wail.

Tornado E: Tornado S, sometimes the answer is no.

Birds & Bees, Part 1: Or the baby is naked in there?

I wanted to wait a little while to tell Tornado E about the new baby.  An eight to nine month wait is a long time for a little guy.  But Tornado E was very concerned about my “sickness,” asking me every day if I was still sick, if he would get sick, and that he was going to pray for me at his school.  A downside of sending him to a Christian preschool.  So I figured I better explain before the teachers started to think I had cancer or something.

Then Tornado E and I sat at lunch together today, talking as Tornado S caught an early nap, ruining my nap and my need to clean before the rental people inspect tomorrow.  Yea.

Tornado E: Mommy, why do you want three boys?

Me: Because I like boys.  How do you know it’s not a girl?  I like girls too.

Tornado E:  Ok, it can be a girl.

Me: Do you want another little brother or a little sister?

Tornado E: I think I want four kids.

Me: Four?

Tornado E: No, five.

Me: Five?

Tornado E: Yes, because I like kids.

Me: Well, five is a lot.  (I do not want to feel this sick again.  Eyes on the prize.  Eyes on the prize.)  But I’ll let Daddy know how you feel.

Tornado E: Ok.  Does the baby have shoes on?

Me: No, the baby is naked.

Tornado E: (giggling) He’s naked?  He needs clothes on.  Why doesn’t he have clothes on?

Me: The baby doesn’t need any because the baby is in Mommy’s womb.

Tornado E: We need to get him some clothes.

Me: How will we get clothes in Mommy’s body?

Tornado E: Hmmm.  We’ll put it in a box.

Me: How will we get a box in Mommy’s body?

Tornado E: Mommy, does the baby eat when you eat?

Me: Sort of like that.

Tornado E: Why do you have to eat more food?

Me: Well, I have to eat for the baby and me.  The baby has a lot of growing to do.  It’s only this big.  (I show the size of a large bean with the space of my fingers.)

Tornado E: Why is it so tiny?

Me: Because it starts out that way.

Tornado E: Why is it in there?

Me: Because that’s the best place for it to grow.  Don’t worry when it’s big enough, it’ll come out.

Tornado E: But it’ll be naked!

Me: Yes, but I’ll dress it before you see it.

Tornado E: But I’ll see it naked!

Me: No, you’ll be with Papi and Grandma probably.  I’ll dress it before you come.

Tornado E: But I want to see it naked!

Me: Then you can help give it a bath.

Tornado E: Mommy, why are you eating a pie with chicken?  Pies are suppose to have fruit.

Well, that was a close one.

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Ham and Sausage

I have noticed in the last few months that whenever I have the camera out, Tornado S must be in the picture.  No matter what I’m taking a picture of, Tornado S sneaks in.  Last week he was in the middle of throwing a temper tantrum when I was trying to take a picture of Tornado E.  Looking through the lens, there was Tornado S crying right in front of Tornado E.  Of course, I snapped a few pictures.

Today I was taking pictures of our new crafts, when Tornado S’s little head poked up in the center of the picture.

Me: Tornado S, you’re such a ham.

Tornado E: Why’s Tornado S a ham?

Me: Because he likes being the center of attention.  He likes to get his picture taken.

Tornado E: Oh.  If Tornado S’s a ham, then I’m a sausage.

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Meet the other boy I watch

Sean: Mama!  Mama!  Mama!  Mama!  Mama!  Mama!

Me: Yes?

Sean: Mama!  Mama!  Mama!  Mama!  Mama!  Mama!

Me: Sean-Sean.

Sean: A feeesh!

Me: I see the fish.  It’s a red fish.

Sean: Mama!  Mama!  Mama!  Mama!

Me: Sean-Sean.

Sean: A feeesh!

Me: Yes, I red fish.

Papi: He really doesn’t stop unless you ans-

Sean: Mama! Mama!

Papi: wer.

Me: Sean-Sean.  No.  He doesn’t.

Sean: A pi-rate boat!

Me: Yes, a pirate boat.

Sean: Mama! Ma-

Papi: Sean!  Sean!  Sean!  Sean! Sean!  Sean!  Sean!  Sean!  Sean!  Sean!  Sean!  Sean!  Sean!  Sean!  Sean!  Sean!  Sean!  Sean!  Sean!  Sean!  Se-

Sean: (first smiling.  Now he put his hand out like a stop sign.)  STOOOOOOOOOOOOP!

Papi: Sean! Se-


Me: Do you really think that’s helping?  Either of you?

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A Few Choice Tornado E Stories

Tornado E is no longer concerned with the day I lost my keys down the toilet. Here are his NEW favorite stories.

Tornado E: Remember when we were swimming with Papi. And Papi yelled “Bee on you! Bee on you! Bee on you!” And Grandma jumped in the water. Why did she do that?

Me: Because she didn’t want to get stung. She didn’t know where the bee was.

Tornado E: Oh.

Tornado E: Remember when we were at the McDonald’s without the slide. And Papi took me to go potty. And I went pee. And Papi said, “Boy, you pee a lot.” Why did he say that?

Me: Because you do pee a lot.

Tornado E: No, I think he was teasing.

Tornado E: Remember when I threw up on Daddy the other day. It was a lot of throw up. It got all over us. And Daddy was yelling, “Mommy! Mommy!” (Pause, reflecting on the name Daddy actually used.) “Faemom! Faemom! Faemom!” He was funny. Why’d he say that?

Me: Because that’s my name and Daddy needed help.

Tornado E: No. You’re Mommy.

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The Why Phase

I was so excited about the Why Phase.  Honestly, how much fun would that be?  I’m a fountain of useless knowledge.  I love learning useless knowledge.  I love learning period.  In high school drama, the award I was given was The Most Likely To Know Everything (Or She’ll Find it Out).  In college, I had a roommate that loved to torture me with random years, asking me what happened in that year.  I would go ballistic racking my brain, pulling out facts, until I turned on the computer and listed rulers, wars, and all kinds of facts.

Every parenting book talked about how important the Why Phase was, how it was a sign of intelligence and inquisitiveness.  I worried as Tornado E out grew the months it was suppose to be in.  I wondered if my son actually cared to learn about the world around him.  I wondered if I was raising a day laborer, fast food restaurant cashier or a politician.  I waited and prepared.  I was well prepared for questions like:

Why’s the sky blue?

Why’s the grass green?

Why’s that an “E”?

Why is Papi bald?

Why do we go to church?

Why does Daddy make Daddy noise when he sleeps?

When the Why Phase started, did I get any of those questions?  No.  I got questions like these:

Why do I have to go to bed?

Why am I tired?

Why are you tired?

Why am I whiney?

Why is my bed so high?

Why did you do that?

Why can’t I have candy in my bed?

Why am I hungry for candy right now?

Why can’t I have juice?

Why will it leak?

Why do I have to have water?

Why is Tornado S trying to sleep?

Why can’t I sleep in Tornado S’s bed?

Why will he wake up?

Why can’t I sleep with you?

Why do I have to sleep in my own bed?

Why do I have to go to bed?

Why can’t I stay up?

Why am I tired?

Why do I have to put my underwear on?

Yeah, it’s not cute and inquisitive.  It’s not a sign that my kid is smart, trying to figure out the logic of the world.  It’s not a sign of intelligence.  It’s a sign of hidden rebellion.  It’s a sign of anarchy.  It’s a sign that my kid wants the rules to bend to his understanding.  He’s trying to be subversive.  He’s trying to break down the penis rules through his interpretation of logic.

Why do I have to wipe my bottom?

Why will I get diaper rash?

Why will it hurt?

Why do I have to wear underwear?

Why can’t I go naked?

Why do I have to wear clothes in the car?

Why do I have to wear clothes at Grandma’s and Papi’s house?

Why can’t I play with my penis here?

Why can’t I play with my penis in your room?

Does Daddy play with his penis in your room?

Why are you quiet?

Why didn’t you say anything?

Mommy!  Did you hear me?

Why do I have to put my underwear on?

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What’s in a name?

Me: I don’t know.  I think he’s still playing M’s video game.

My Mom: The food’s getting cold.  The boys are ready to eat.

Evan: Chawles isn’t here.  Let’s just pray with out him.

Silence as we all stare at Evan because we never get used to him saying things like that.

Me: Daddy.  Daddy isn’t here, and we will wait for him before we pray and eat.


Evan learned his father’s name early on and uses it to his advantage.  The other day he called for my dad by his first name in a perfect mimic of the way my mom yells the name across the house, so we were curious to find out if he knew any one else’s name.

Grandma: Evan, do you know my name?

Evan: Linda.

Grandma: Good job.  Did you hear Grandma-Great call me that?

Evan: She calls you that when she’s mad at you.

Me: And when Grandma-Great is happy.

Evan: And when Grandma-Great is happy!

Grandma: Do you know mommy’s name?

Evan: Mommy –(Last Name)!

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Tornado E’s sushi roll

I love spicy tuna hand rolls!  I would kill for a good one.  Mmmm.  Of course, they come second to a good hamburger, but I assure you, it’s a close second.  You can imagine my delight when we noticed Tornado E’s sushi set had a tuna hand roll.  Well, it’s not quite spicy, but we can make it work.

If you don’t know what’s in a tuna hand roll, it’s tuna and cucumber or avocado with some sort of spicy herb that I can’t find the name of wrapped in rice and seaweed to make a cone for your hand.  With spicy tuna, the ground of the tuna with spices to make it nice and hot.  A great spicy tuna is heaven. *

Mmmm. Plastic hand roll.

Mmmm. Plastic hand roll.

Tornado E: This is a spicy hand roll.  The black is seaweed.  The white is rice.  The red is spicy tuna.  And the green is guacamole.

Um.  Not quite the right ethnic group or continent.  But the right vegetable, so close enough.

*I understand not everyone can stomach or understand the delight that is eating raw fish, which I get because I would never have believed as a kid that I would eat raw fish and want to go back.  With that said, I have never got food poison from eating sushi.  That is usually fried shrimp.  And I believe you shouldn’t knocked until you tried it, but then I don’t think you’ll ever get me to try blood pudding or brains of any kind.
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